A recent study has revealed that children who nap in the middle of the day tend to excel over others in a number of different ways.
Who doesn't love a good nap? From the day we are born to the day we die, we all love to sleep. Well, there's a gap early on when kids seem to want to be awake all day every day, but other than that, pretty much everyone loves to sleep. Many of us associate napping with being unproductive and unhelpful. However, new research from the University of Pennsylvania suggests otherwise.
The study, which was recently published in SLEEP and reported on by Science Daily, discovered a link between children who nap and their academic ability. It included just shy of 3000 children across the fourth, fifth, and sixth grade. Older than most children who like to nap, but the results were pretty telling.
The study revealed that children who napped around midday excelled in a number of different ways. However, the most notable was academic ability. "Children who napped three or more times per week benefit from a 7.6% increase in academic performance in Grade 6," reported Adrian Raine, a co-author on the paper. The study also kept tabs on things like happiness, grit, and even physical attributes as well.
There has been an outcry for years now that the school day should start later so that children can get more sleep. This might be the simplest solution to that. Rather than starting later, just let children nap for an hour at midday. The school day may have to run a little longer, but this seems like an easier answer to the issue to us than moving the entire school day up by an hour or two.
This is hopefully just the beginning of research into this field. It is the first study of its kind, at least in the US, so those in charge of implementing something like mandatory naps will want to see more evidence that it will greatly help schoolchildren. Perhaps once more evidence is showcased, midday naps will one day become a staple of a child's school day.